Lucky Elephant Photography serving Broward County South Florida. Specializing in photography that tells a story.

Story Sessions with Lucky Elephant Photography

Somewhere along the lines I lost touch of my true passion in photographing people in what I thought were the technicalities of portrait photography. The things I thought I had to do in order to gain respect or be looked at like I knew what I was doing. I spent a lot of time and investment in learning poses and techniques for setting up people to look their best. Positioning them nicely in a park or a beach. I even learned studio posing, for what I thought I needed. Telling my clients to, “Say Cheese!” or “Open your eyes at the count of 3!” wasn’t something I ever felt proud of doing but it’s what I thought I had to do to get ‘that shot’. This is the traditional way of portrait photography and it’s the way most people think it has to be. It’s the way I thought it had to be and what I thought was the ‘must do’ to be a professional family photographer.

Then I had an epiphany one night while trying to select three of my favorite photographs of my daughter for a frame. Suddenly it clicked in my head and I realized that posing and forced smiles or fake emotions aren’t present in any of them. Most of them are beautifully composed, yes, but they are all genuine real moments. All my favorite pictures of my own family and of others’ families have always been the candid ones too. Once this dawned on me I instantly realized why I’ve had a hard time promoting this business. I didn’t believe in what I was doing. I was stoked to be taking pictures of people and wanted to keep doing it but the people in the frames weren’t behaving naturally and it always felt off to me. Who just stands in the middle of a field with their family, all facing the same way, arm to arm, smiling in a certain direction instead of at each other? The answer is no one. It wasn’t what I loved in my heart. I didn’t feel like I was capturing real people and that’s what makes my heart sing. That’s what fuels me to work so hard. I couldn’t bare to take more time away from my family while posing others in ways they would never naturally be.

Story Photography by Lucky Elephant Photography

While I love each one of my clients and the experiences we’ve had shooting, a whole lot of me wishes I hadn’t been so worried with poses and techniques, backgrounds, baskets and props. I wish I could have sat down with my clients, gotten to know them a little better, then accompany them on an adventure or spend a day in their home, capturing real moments between each other, telling their individual unique story.

To me, it’s not the nice park setting with the pretty trees. It’s not making sure to stand in the direction of the wind so that your hair won’t fall in your face when posing out on the beach.  It’s not the perfect smiles or the fake laughs. It’s not wrapping up newborns and setting them in buckets. It’s not jingling bells so babes will look at the camera. It’s not about props and backdrops. It’s about the love and the connection – and I let the poses and the technicalities get in the way of that.

To me, it’s about the way a child looks at her mother, or the way a daughter’s hand can fit inside of her father’s just so. It’s about the miracle of birth or joining hands in marriage. It’s about a first trip to the zoo, children wide eyed with wonder. It’s about a carnival date between two lovers, sharing funnel cakes and kisses. It’s about celebrations and parties, exploring and adventures, days spent at home and evening walks on the beach. It’s about tears over spilled milk. It’s about the real moments. Most importantly, it’s about the small little things that we don’t think to get captured but end up missing the most over the years.

Story Photography by Lucky Elephant Photography

 

The standard posed portrait is the way people think it’s supposed to be, the way they think it has to be. Well I’m here to break the tradition of the standard portraits. I’ve done them and I’ve not done them and now I know I don’t need them. I want to capture real genuine moments. I want to create photographs that will become family treasures. I want people to look at my images and be able to feel something. Those small special moments or special occasions that time takes away too quickly, I want to preserve them forever and that is exactly what we are doing here now. We are telling real life stories one beautiful album at a time.

 

If you’re interested in having your family’s memories photographed by us send a message via the Book a Shoot page or call and leave a message at (954) 900-9927. Because I am super duper excited about this change, we are currently offering session discounts for a limited amount of time if you let us come along and capture something super fun and unique! Let’s chat!

Those of you that read along or that continue to work with us, thank you!

Much Love,
Amanda Ballard
Owner of Lucky Elephant Photography

 

Noah {Birthday Portraits}

Noah turns three today and he’s one awesome kid!! I had so much fun with this session. I didn’t realize until I saw him and his grandma (they came along to keep Noah entertained during his session) that I’ve actually taken pictures of them before at a birthday party!  What a small world. Let me tell you, this kid has tons of energy! His mom probably laughed when she saw the session because there are quite a few where he’s just taking off and running. We could get him to sit still for several seconds at a time by asking him to sit and “squish monsters”. He was so good at that! He’s also really kind. Though he stated clearly at one point that he was too busy to pick flowers he managed to sneak a few in for mom and he even ran up to me during the session and surprised me with a hug! Can’t wait to photograph his 3rd birthday party this weekend! Here are some sneak peeks from our session together, enjoy! Click here for information on the Holiday Mini Sessions! There are still a few spots left. LuckyElephantPhotography_Noah-43 Continue reading

Alexandra {Beauty Session}

This session was so much fun! These are my absolute favorite kind. This particular one was extra fun because we had a hair and makeup artist on the spot – Alexandra’s older sister, Jackie! We met up at sunrise which means not only her but her sister as well had to be up crazy early. I love, love, love when my clients go out of their way for the perfect picture. I pretty much roll out of bed right before I leave, get an iced coffee and blast some music on the way to location. After all I don’t have to be photographed. 😛 Alexandra was meant to be on camera!

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Ashley, Andy and Ava {Family Session}

Ack! Bad me! I haven’t updated the blog in some time. I thought the perfect thing to post to get back on track would be this beautiful family! I have had the pleasure of photographing Ava and her family since she was 6 months old. It’s been wonderful to watch her grow into the beautiful, STRONG willed little girl that she is. She knows what she wants and knows what she doesn’t want, and she will let you know! I was over the moon excited that she gave us a few smiles to work with. Her absolute favorite part of the session was mirror time with mom. Ashley, fantastic idea to bring that along!

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Miller Family {Beauty / Family Portrait Session}

I’ve had the opportunity to work with this family on many occasions. Back when I first started getting interested in photography, using just a regular every day camera, I took pictures for one of Tyler’s music videos. Looking back on those now, I’m horrified, but we all have to start somewhere right? 😉 Tyler is a local celebrity that goes by the name Verse Won, a musical artist that you can hear on the radio or find performing at a venue in South Florida with his team, WeFilthyRich Ent. It was no surprise that his oldest daughter would be following his footsteps into stardom. She is an outstandingly smart (mom’s a teacher!!) and beautiful girl and her little sister is following suit. I can’t wait to see them in the movies. I got to meet up with them again to take their portraits and it was the first time that I got to meet the little one. She’s so squeezable and loveable and you can get lost in those eyes! I can’t wait to see the two girls again. In between the modeling we made sure to get some family shots in because how can you not with a family like that? Here’s just a few from our session! Enjoy! Aradia_LuckyElephantPhotography_BeautyPortraits_SouthFlorida

 

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Christmas Mini Sessions {2013}

This year was my first time holding mini sessions of any type. I was SO nervous about how things would go and was PRAYING so hard that the weather would cooperate. There were some slight hiccups throughout the weekend – like spotty rain, wet props, Saturday’s location being taken on Sunday – but in the end everything turned out better than I had imagined! I will definitely be holding more mini sessions throughout the year, and I’m trying to think up some fun ones that you don’t see everyday! Here are a couple of my favorites from all the different families.

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Max – Portrait Session

Max met up with me because he needed an author portrait for his first book. I don’t know many people who can say that at the age of 20… what an accomplishment! He is the first male model, I mean author, that I have ever worked with. What a surprise to me that it was also the smoothest going, least complicated session that I have ever had. We met at sunrise and knocked it out in less than 45 minutes! Here are a few sneak peaks from our session.

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Olivia – Modeling Portraits

This girl was born ready for the camera! I even have a few pictures that I took of her when she was maybe only a year old. You’ll have to see the one at the very end of this post. Really – this girl is going to be a star! Even her dad is very well known in the South Florida music industry as the talented Verse Won. You can check out some of his work with WeFilthyRich Ent  <— by clicking on that link!  Be on the lookout for this girl, she’s as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside and it’s going to get her far. I had so much fun taking her pictures! Here are just a few from our session. 🙂